Five years of marriage never felt so good.
July 19th, 1997 our special day in the midst of summer, damn the island life was excellent. My girlfriend Asha and I spent months planning our getaway for our anniversary; and we thought what better place to have it than here in The Bahamas? We planned to spend these few days in a small resort on a cay a few miles southeast off the cost of Grand Bahama, ‘romantic’ isn’t it?
“Good Morning love…”
I turned slowly in my bed to be greeted by warm hazel eyes that captured any light that enters its windows. She was beautiful at 5”7 she was a tall, shapely woman with long, thick, curly hair. As I scanned her body, the beams of sunlight that crept through the windows laminated her bright caramel skin, just gorgeous.
“I hope you slept well, because we have a big day today.” She smiled that pretty smile, and I can see in her eyes that she was waiting for me to say it, a sigh of contentment left my lips “Happy Aniver-“ A deep kiss stopped me mid-sentence. After a moment of conversation we got up to do our morning routine like any other normal couple. I made my way downstairs and was greeted by the aroma of breakfast, she made her famed, blueberry waffles, with fried tofu on seasoned toast and tea; vegetarians I tell ya, but she sure did know how to make grass taste like the juiciest burger you have ever had.
“Be sure to read this.” A brochure is presented to me as she takes a sip of her tea. Two cabins and a small check-in building, activities, eats, boat rides and the best part no Wi-Fi. It wasn’t much at all to look at, but we wanted the true island experience since we lived in the city. “Not bad at all,” I say as I raise my eyebrows, “well, let’s get a move on, shall we?” We threw our small luggage in the car and started on our hour and a half journey to the easterly tip of the island to catch our boat ride.
It was a clear, beautiful and sunny day, but on the road the images of the resort raised some last-minute concerns for me. Is this a legitimate resort? Will we have access to power? (Silly I know) Who runs this resort? Are there any security? And all of these questions came in the form of a “So… Where did you heard of this place from?” She turned to me with a look of excitement, “Oh, I was shopping by a mammy and she told me of this place…”
Mammies, a name given to immigrant, up-in-age Haitian women who tries to make a living my selling anything they can possibly barter to you for profit; whether that being bootlegged DVDs, Music, fake name brand, kitchen utensils, candy, toys, souls, you name it, they sell it. “…apparently it’s a resort owned by Haitian heritage.” I glanced at her, “You picked our getaway spot from a shady mammy you didn’t even know?”
A look of shame came on her face, “Why? What’s the big deal?”
“The island could be cursed for all we know, you know how they fool around with voodoo and black magic!” we both chuckle at thought of it. There has always been such a prejudice and negative superstition towards the Haitian nationality, but we never believed in those kind of stuff. After the long drive we arrived at the dock and was greeted by our helmsman. He was a short, bald middle aged man, but had a lean built with very dark skin and red, beady eyes “Good Dey, my name es Ricardo, may I tek your luggage?” his accent was strong, with his gold tooth glistening through his lips, “Good day to you too, Ricardo! The name’s Kenward and this is my wife Asha” she gives him a quick smile and wave as I hand him our bags. He loaded our luggage onto a Rodney boat with a motor attached to it, classy am I right? We climb aboard and set sail to our cay.
During the ride Ricardo told us about the resort, the resort has been in business since 1975 right after independence and he has been working here since. Business has been slow for these past few years we’ve learned, and they’re in talks of actually shutting down the business. I can see Asha listening attentively as she always do as sea water splash in our boat from time to time. After a few hours of boating the cay came into site. My wife and I stare off into the distance, without looking back I ask “So this our stop ahead, right Ricardo?”
…We wait for a response….
“Ricard-“Asha starts, as we both freeze after we look back.
Ricardo looks deranged, veins pop out of his skin as his eyes are torn wide open, eyeballs looking ready to burst, and blood starts to pour from his nose as his top and bottom lip curves downward revealing his bottom row teeth. Asha scurries behind me as he starts to squeal and wheeze whiles pumped muscle protrude from under his skin as he hold an abnormally tight grip on the handle of the motor. “RICARDO ARE YOU OK MAN? TALK TO ME!!!” Asha cries on the other side of the boat; I don’t know what came over me, but I got up, “RICARDO CAN YOU SPEAK?!” scared out of my wits I grab him by his shirt, I can see his teeth pushing outward from being clenched as saliva mixed with blood runs down his chin; and at that same moment I touched him he just went back to normal… Instantly the veins and the wheezing just stopped while the blood still stained his mouth and shirt, “What’s dah prablem breddah??” He looked confused, we all looked confused; same time through all of this we were ready to beach by the resort.
Asha still trembling and scared stares at me, we looked at each other confirming something’s not right. “R-Ricardo,” I let go “y-you were freaking out and started bleeding, all over your mouth there’s blood” He wipes it, “Oh dis? I jus have one ah those conditions, everyting’s good, boss-man.” He smiles at us.
After we unloaded onto the dock Ricardo turns the boat around and slowly takes off, Asha and I wished him well aloud and strangely he just sat there with his back turned, without moving a muscle heading off into the sea as dark clouds take form in the distance. A brief feeling of dread came over me watching such a grim scene and I can see it on Asha’s face too, I have a bad gut feeling about this. I took her hand as we made our way to check in…
To be Continued…